Think be­fore you flush say WaterCorp

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

The Wa­ter Corporation is urg­ing Pil­bara res­i­dents to pay more at­ten­tion to what they put down sinks, drains and toi­lets af­ter a se­ries of waste­water sys­tem block­ages in Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land.

About one block­age per week in the past six months has been caus­ing is­sues at the gov­ern­ment agency’s WA pump sta­tions, with the Pil­bara a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem area.

To re­duce the num­bers, they have launched a new aware­ness cam­paign ask­ing peo­ple to “stop feed­ing the mon­ster”, based on the idea that flush­ing items in­clud­ing wet-wipes, cot­ton buds, san­i­tary items, cook­ing oils and kitchen scraps down the drain are feed­ing a waste mon­ster with neg­a­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fects.

Wa­ter Corporation North West re­gional man­ager Rino Tro­lio said the flush­ing of wet wipes, san­i­tary prod­ucts, rub­bish and even cloth­ing had been caus­ing weekly block­ages in Kar­ratha and Port Hed­land’s waste­water sys­tems.

“Items in­cor­rectly be­ing dis­posed of in the waste­water sys­tem cause block­ages that are costly and time-con­sum­ing to re­move,” he said.

“These block­ages can re­sult in waste­water over­flows into homes and the en­vi­ron­ment, while also caus­ing op­er­a­tional is­sues at pump sta­tions and waste­water treat­ment plants.”

Mr Tro­lio said wet wipes, even those ad­ver­tised as “flush­able”, had been a par­tic­u­lar prob­lem and re­minded peo­ple they did not break down and should never be flushed.

“Wet wipes com­bine with fats and oils to form large co­ag­u­lated clumps that need to be re­moved,” he said.

“The job re­mov­ing these from the waste­water sys­tem is as un­pleas­ant as it sounds.”

He noted depend­ing on where block­ages had oc­curred in the sew­er­age sys­tem, in some cases res­i­dents may be re­spon­si­ble for fix­ing them them­selves.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit wa­ter­cor­po­ra­tion.com.au/mon­ster.

Wa­ter Corporation are ask­ing peo­ple to pre­vent wa­ter block­ages.

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